ACTING Chief Justice Antonio Carpio declined to comment on the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Carpio met with Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Friday, March 2, at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.
However, he refused to comment on the impact of the impeachment case against Sereno to the Supreme Court.
"That issue, I cannot discuss. I can discuss with you the West Philippine Sea,” he told the local media.
He asserted that China cannot be co-owner of the West Philippine Sea which belongs to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.
"If we concede that half of the area belongs to them that cannot be done because that's our Exclusive Economic Zone. We cannot concede our sovereign rights. Even the president cannot concede our sovereign rights. We can ask foreign companies to extract gas and pay cash or in kind but they should do it under Philippine laws,” he pointed out.
He said the territorial dispute was already won by the Philippines in the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal, adding that the country has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea and that China’s nine-dash line is invalid.
“This is ours and we should be very worried if China will get (what is) ours because that would violate the Constitution that says the state shall protect its wealth and EEZ...the EEZ (is) exclusively for Filipino citizens so there's no way for this government to consider to give away half of that, to make China a co-owner, that's absolutely no way to the Constitution,” Carpio stressed.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on March 03, 2018.
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